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Izzy Kitterman's bright future begins with new chapter

Izzy Kitterman graduating
Posted at 1:00 PM, Aug 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-11 08:49:06-04

JENKS, Okla. — The new school year marks a new chapter for a Jenks teen whose story we've been following for years.

You may recall in July of 2017, a fatal crash that involved some Jenks families on I-35 outside of Purcell. Oklahoma Highway Patrol said Erin Van Horn was driving an SUV full of kids when her vehicle hit the back of a semi.

Izzy Kitterman was a passenger in that SUV. She survived the crash but lost her brother, sister, and two family friends that day.

Kitterman is now 18 years old with a bright outlook on the future.

"I just want to do good. That's my biggest thing," says Izzy Kitterman.

Izzy Kitterman is an inspiration and influencer. With nearly a quarter of a million TikTok fans, she's raising awareness about paralysis by sharing her survivor's story.

Izzy suffered a broken neck and spine in the July 2017 crash. At the time, doctors feared she would never breathe on her own. Two months later, she proved them wrong.

"At first, the progress was very fast, and you could really see progress. Like I couldn't move my arms, and then within the first two weeks, I was moving my arms. But, after the first 8 or 9 months, the progress slowed down. That's when it started to get a little hard to hold onto hope," said Kitterman.

Kitterman says faith helped her fight through the pain, "I always believe that God has a reason for what he does and that He is always going to put you on the right path and make sure you'll be okay."

The path forward hasn't been easy, but Kitterman's determined not to let anything get in her way.

"I like being independent. I love it. I do everything here by myself that I can," says Kitterman.

Her wheelchair and scooter help her get around, and she drives now too.

"I get my wheelchair in and out of my car now. I used not to be able to do that, but now I can do that in like 3 minutes," says Kitterman.

This past year was a big one for Kitterman. She went to prom and, in May, graduated from Jenks High School.

"I was like, wow, I did it. I'm done. I really did it," says Kitterman.

This summer, she took on her first job at Life Church, and now she's starting college.

"I want to major in psychology or become a surgical tech, one or the other. I'm planning on Tulsa Community College for two years through Tulsa Achieves, and then I'll probably go to OU or OSU," says Kitterman.

Her dreams don't stop there. Kitterman hopes to continue to spread positivity both in-person and online.

"I just want to be a successful person and help people. Like thinking about if I become a therapist, I can help so many kids with trauma and all that. I'm just thinking of all the good I can do," says Kitterman.

You can keep up with the latest on Izzy Kitterman through Spreading and Sharing Love for Izzy Kitterman on Facebook here.

Hear Izzy Kitterman's full story Wednesday night at 10 on 2 News Oklahoma.

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